I love a blackberry and apple crumble and in early Autumn the county of Devon offers up a veritable bounty of blackberry super fruits. And blimmin’ soooooper they are too – packed rigid with antioxidants and all conveniently plucked from the local hedgerows. Always a good idea to give them a good wash though – important to remove the sparrow piss and spider spittle!
I like to be fully prepared for the blackberry season so I always make ready my car in early Autumn. Most people keep essentials in their vehicle such as a torch, a reflective triangle thingy, and water but my emergency supplies are jettisoned for numerous blackberry collecting receptacles – freezer bags, lidded tupperware and baskets which fill up my boot. A high vis jacket and spare tyre are just for wimps anyway.
So, over the last month I have stopped in many country lanes in order to dash out of the car and grab handfuls of these luscious fruits thus smugly utilizing my multitudinous blackberry gathering tubs. In addition, all our recent family walks or bike rides have been unceremoniously bastardised for my blackberry picking preoccupation. I make *Mummy Pig look like a complete amateur, and unlike *Mummy Pig and **Hugh Hefner I’ve never stumbled into a bush – rookie mistake!Mummy Pig found herself in the bush…..Daddy Pig wished it was him. Photo on Youtube.com where you can watch the episode in full. So welcome.
Anyhoo, last weekend we enjoyed the fruits of my labours quite literally in the form of one of my seasonal blackberry and apple crumbles. But on this occasion I found I had surplus ingredients. So what would you suggest I do with the left over blackberries, apples, crumble mix and even custard….. err, make another crumble you cretin – right?
Wrong! – that would be both too sensible and boring and you’re better than that. So I decided to challenge myself – no, not by scaling Ben Nevis, swimming the channel or getting through a Monday afternoon without Pinot Grigio but by coming up with my own recipe using the aforementioned ingredients….so…..ta dah…here is the (catchily titled) Devon Blackberry and Apple Crumble and Custard Muffins. Yeah yeah, I know this *may* have been done before so some humouring on your part *may* be required.
3 Large eggs
200g of cooking marg or butter
150g of sugar
300g of self raising flour
175g blackberries or thereabouts. Top Tip alert: I like to fill up the tupperware containing the blackberries with water for a while. You’ll find that any hidden creepy crawlies will conveniently bob up to the surface and you can simply drain them off. Enjoy.
1 small apple – diced into tiny pieces
14 generous teaspoons of custard.
50g or so of crumble mix for sprinkling on top. Top Tip alert: this can be homemade or shop bought, I’m not here to judge.
The cake mix: never pretty, but I don’t feel I needed to hide the truth from you.
Cream the marg and sugar, add the eggs then the flour. Mix in the apple and then gently fold in the blackberries otherwise they’ll break down into an perplexing purple pulp.
Alert: remember when you put the custard in to flob a bit of the cake mix over it before the crumble topping bit.
Alert: Go easy with the crumble topping – a nice, light, even sprinkling will suffice or the muffins wont be able to rise up and as ***Mary Berry will explain, you’ll get a soggy bottom which was a problem for her until she found Tena Lady pants because of course her baking has always been exemplary.
Alert: Makes 14 muffins which is super annoyingly – one muffin tray plus 2 more cake cases in another muffin tray…..and then they wont all fit in a standard sized cake tin….so you have to eat two………sorrynotsorry.
Alert: Bake on 180 for about 25 mins – but keep faffing about opening the oven door letting all the heat out every 5 minutes because you aren’t sure if the black bits are blackberries or burnt bits.
Alert: Calories? Probably. Potentially offsetted by traipsing around the countryside finding the blackberries. However if no traisping was undertaken and you did indeed buy your blackberries I would have to suggest a full 20 mins on the cross trainer per muffin!
Alert: Below is a muffin straight out of the oven. The custard does in fact solidify in a cold muffin…sorryamsorry.
Perhaps use an old glass bowl which you have inherited from a kind elderly relative which may or may not make the muffin look slightly more attractive.
Other attractive bowl reinforcements might need to be busted out.
Lottie (aged 8): “Did you make any plain muffins?”
Toby (aged 10): “Can I just have the custardy bit?”
My visiting Mother: “Ooh a bit pippy…I’ll be picking those out of my fillings for days! Why didn’t you just make another crumble?…..I could have taken it home for your father.”
Ted (husband): “Hmmmmm….delicious!” (and no, he wasn’t taking the piss.)
Of all the testimonials, I’ve decided to go with *delicious*.
So there we have it, Devon Blackberry and Apple and Custard Crumble Muffins like Blackberry and Apple Crumble but more cakey, more calories and more work! Enjoy.
Have you totally made up or made over a recipe recently? Go on, don’t hide your light under a (blackberry) bush(el), share it with a link in comments!
As you were!
** really allegedly
*** very allegedly